Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 16:44 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Jul 2018 | 16:44 | SYDNEY

The 2012 Indo-Pacific election bonanza


James Brown


12 December 2011 09:56

Thinking of traveling in 2012? You could do worse than embark on an Indo-Pacific electoral tour. Many of the major countries in the Indo-Pacific will have elections during the coming 12 months.

Leadership change will happen on both sides of the Pacific. In China, a transition is expected to take place in October when the national Communist Party Congress sits. In the US the following month elections will take place for the president, house of representatives and one-third of the senate.

In Taiwan, a presidential and parliamentary election will take place on 14 January. In South Korea an election for the national assembly will be on 11 April, with presidential elections following in December. India's parliament will elect a new president in July. Malaysia's prime minister is expected to call national elections next year before the current parliamentary mandate expires in March 2013. Legislative elections in Hong Kong will take place in September.

Closer to home, Timor-Leste will elect a new president in May, Papua New Guinea will elect a new national parliament in June, and Vanuatu will elect a new parliament in September.

If you trust that elections are quiet, orderly affairs, then this bonanza of psephological delight won't concern you too much. But the 2012 electoral calender might just be a reminder that many of the voices shaping the Asian century are liable to change in the coming year. If you believe that politicians are prone to the occasional rhetorical foreign policy flourish for domestic audiences, then the 2012 Indo-Pacific electoral calender might not be the harbinger of stability the region needs.

Photo by Flickr user Cle0patra.